By Kirsten Craze
Once a tool for wealthy house hunters, buyer’s agents have now become more accessible to everyday Australians, but where do first home buyers fit into the picture?
As buyer’s agent numbers have boomed across NSW, more competition and multi-tiered services has meant many now work across a variety of house hunting budgets. Nevertheless, there is still the perception among first time purchasers that a buyer’s agent is an unnecessary extra expense.
Help first home buyers deal with FOMO
First-home buyer loans were 45 per cent higher in October this year compared to the same month last year, according to ABS lending data, with 3244 of those in NSW. That influx means the time is right for buyer’s agents to reach out to first timers.
Nick Viner, Buyer’s Agent chapter chairperson and founder of Buyer’s Domain said considering the budgets and hot competition that first home buyers are dealing with in greater Sydney, and other highly sought-after regions, their skills are more valuable than ever.
“As first home buyers have never even bought a property before, this particular demographic, more than anyone, will benefit from professional buying assistance to guide them through the process,” he said.
“Yes, there is a cost but if first home buyers understand that they will save time, money and stress in using a buyer’s agent, then more first home buyers will recognise the value,” he said.
Teach the big picture outlook
Mr Viner added that buyers’ agents are in the perfect position to become educators in the space as many first home buyers are either suffering from information overload online or are getting outdated advice.
“Sometimes first-time buyers can rely too much on advice from mum and dad. Things have likely changed since they last bought a property. From what I see, quite often people are talked out of buying properties by parents or other friends and family and it might be for the wrong reasons. Then I’ve heard of people who totally ignore mum and dad, and don't even bother getting a building inspection report, and that's probably the worst thing they can do,” he said.
Jacque Parker of House Search Australia and Buyer’s Agent chapter deputy chairperson said there is a perception of an added cost at a time when they can least afford it.
“Just like any outsourcing service, the value and benefit often outweighs the cost, but it’s very much an individual decision on the part of buyers,” she said.
“Having an advocate on your side negotiating also provides the opportunity to save not only time but potentially more money than a buyer could have negotiated on their own. After all, as buyer’s agents we negotiate for a living, unlike first home buyers who are new to the process,” she said.
How to avoid the mistakes
It’s not just about the purchase price, said Mr Viner, who adds that building and pest inspection reports and other nuances can send solo first-time buyers in the wrong direction.
“Buyer’s agents have the knowledge and experience to identify suitable properties, spot any problems which could be costly mistakes, know how much properties are worth, and negotiate the best price,” he explained.
Ms Parker said money might be front of mind, but there is so much for first timers to get wrong.
“If they’re inexperienced and unsure on what questions to ask, issues to look for in the property (and contract of sale) having an expert on side as an advocate - who’s truly looking out for their best interests - not only removes uncertainty but assists in educating the buyer,” she said.
No pride in the struggle
Mr Viner said young Australians should be allowed to discover that finding a home, especially their first, need not be a nightmare.
“There is almost a feeling that unless you’ve done the hard yards looking for a property for months and missed out at countless auctions, you don’t fully deserve to own a property. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Our lives are becoming busier and properties are becoming more expensive so there is far more at stake when purchasing a property than ever before,” he said.
For more information about becoming a buyer’s agent, or hiring a buyer’s agent reach out to:
Nick Viner via LinkedIn
Jacque Parker via LinkedIn